Why Fathima’s case not transferred to CB-CID? asks Madras High Court

Madras High Court has asked why the case of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef’s death has not been handed over to Crime-Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID).

The court made the remark today while examining the petitions that demanded an enquiry into the ‘suicides’ including that of Fathima’s, inside IIT Madras.

The prosecutor, who appeared on the court, was told that Fatima’s cell phone was being examined and awaiting a full investigation report.

Meanwhile, Sudarsan Padmanabhan, who was titled as the ’cause of her death’ in the opening note, Hemachandran Karah and Milind Brahme, the three professors of IIT-Madras were questioned by the Central Crime Branch for three days inside the campus after the case was transferred to the special team.

Loktantrik Yuva Janata Dal (LYJD), the Loktantrik Janata Dal’s youth wing has moved the Madras High Court, seeking a CBI probe into ’14 suicides’ at the IIT-Madras here since 2006.

The court while hearing the LYJD’s petitions observed that a probe is still underway and has reserved its order. Court also said that ‘the investigation cannot be transferred to the CBI on the basis of guesses’.

“Our petition, which accuses the Tamil Nadu police of complacency, also calls for actions to stop suicides in IIT campuses,” Saleem Madavoor, national president of LYJD told Maktoob.

Fathima Latheef, a student of Humanities and Development Studies at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, from Kollam town in Kerala, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her hostel room on November 9. The notes on her mobile phone blamed some faculty members.

The parents of 19-year-old Fathima have alleged that their daughter took the extreme step after being mentally harassed by her teachers. The parents have also claimed that they had subject their daughter to religious persecution.

She had even said to her parents that it had become an issue that her name is Fathima, that she is a Muslim. Her father Abdul Latheef says in regarding the faculty’s attitude. “ The IIT Faculties were disgusted to see a Muslim name topping every exams”.

“Casteist and Islamophobic behavior of faculty and their discriminatory attitude have led to many institutional murder in the higher learning institutes in the country including IIT Madras, there needs to be constant public pressure to make the casteist and Brahmanical academia change its course,” many students’ groups and rights activists appealed in the context of Fathima’s death.

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